South Dakota State Wins Second Regional Human Powered Vehicle Challenge at E-Fest East

Apr 26, 2018

The student team from South Dakota State University was the overall winner of the ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) at E-Fest East at Penn State University earlier this month. The team had also placed first overall at HPVC West in Pomona, Calif., last month.
For the second time in less than a month, South Dakota State University was named the overall winner of the ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) — one of several ASME student competitions that take place each spring during the Society’s Engineering Festivals (E-Fests). Following its first-place finish at E-Fest West late last month in Pomona, Calif., the team once again emerged as the overall HPVC champ at E-Fest East, which was held from April 13-15 at Penn State University in State College, Pa.

More than 1,000 people attended E-Fest East, making it one of the biggest events yet since the program was launched last spring. The three-day, two-night festival for engineering students was packed with activities that highlighted the excitement and fun that engineering has to offer, including a welcome reception and concert, social mixers in the E-Fest Lounge area where students could meet and network, and tours of the Penn State Lab and the Millennium Science Complex.

(Front to back) The teams from the West Virginia State University, the University of Akron and the University of Pittsburgh pedal their way through one of the races at the HPVC at E-Fest East.
The University of Akron placed second overall, while the University of Pittsburgh finished first in the endurance event. The event also featured a student leadership training session, titled “Design Thinking,” and a number of special sessions focusing on such topics as 3D printing, CAD design, new design concepts including generative design, case studies from the Engineering for Change (E4C) community, and tips for making a successful transition from college to career.

E-Fest East at Penn State was also the location for the regional rounds of the Student Design Competition and the Old Guard Competitions. Winners of the regional events at E-Fest go on to compete at the final round of their competition at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE) in November.

Nearly 50 teams from universities in the United States, Canada, India and Egypt competed in the Human Powered Vehicle Challenge at E-Fest East. At the end of the three-day competition, which consisted of men’s and women’s drag races and a two-and-a-half hour endurance event, the team from South Dakota State University, named FlapJack, took home the $800 overall first prize, $200 for placing first in the design submission, and $200 for finishing first in the women’s speed event. The team also placed second in the men’s speed event.

Members of the team from Milwaukee School of Engineering prepare their entry for the Student Design Competition “Robot Football” tournament. The team placed second in the competition.
Meanwhile, the team from the University of Akron, ZC18, took home both the $500 overall HPVC second prize and the $200 first prize in the men’s speed category. The team also finished second in both the women’s speed race and the endurance event. The competition’s overall third prize — and the $300 that accompanied it — went to Scorpion, the team from Ohio University, which also finished third in the men’s and women’s speed races and the endurance event. The team was also named the winner of a special Sportsmanship Award. For the complete list of E-Fest East HPVC winners, visit

Another popular event at E-Fest East was the Student Design Competition (SDC). In this year’s SDC challenge, “Robot Football,” which was inspired by the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, students were asked to design and build robots capable of competing in a four way game of football — or soccer, as it’s called in the U.S. A team of students from the University of Florida finished first in the spirited daylong event, taking home the $500 first prize for their efforts. The Milwaukee School of Engineering team placed second, winning $300, while the team from Drexel University rounded out the top three at the E-Fest East SDC, receiving the $150 third prize.

Peder Solberg (right), a student from South Dakota State University, accepts his $750 prize for winning one of two Old Guard Oral Presentation Competitions at E-Fest East. Jennifer Jewers Bowlin, chair of the E-Fest Steering Committee, presented the prize to Solberg.
Two separate Old Guard Oral Presentation Competitions were held at E-Fest East. Joseph Koch of the University of Delaware and Peder Solberg of South Dakota State University each placed first in their respective competitions and received the $750 first prize. Charlotte Kroc from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and Clark Rice from the University of Akron each won the $400 second prize in their competitions, followed by Elliott Jost of Baylor University and Matthew Gairrusso of Union College, who each received the $200 third prize. Three other students also won $100 at the Old Guard Oral Competitions: Minh Nguyen of Florida Atlantic University, who came in fourth place, and Devon Heston of Penn State and Matthieu Audet of Western New England University, who were both recognized in the technical content category.

A student from Western New England University, Caroline Teti, took top honors at the other Old Guard event held at the E-Fest: the Old Guard Technical Poster Competition. Teti received $300 for her winning poster presentation. Tiange Zhang of the University of Delaware placed second, winning $200, and Micah Hardyman of Tennessee Technological University finished in third place, receiving $100.

The E-Fest Lounge was a place where students could relax, catch up with one another or take part in a friendly game.
Micah Hardyman fared even better in the Impromptu CAD Battle at E-Fest East, a competition where students could show off their design skills. Hardyman won first prize at the event and received $250. Gabriel Rios and Kristianna Nicolai, both from the University of Central Florida, finished second and third in the competition, winning $150 and $75, respectively.

Daniel Fahy of Oxford University won the $250 first prize at another E-Fest event, the GrabCAD Challenge, which focused on “Engineering a 3D Printed Drone Attachment for Agriculture.” Artem Tayurskii of Germany’s Chemnitz University of Technology and Ben Emre of Canada’s Conestoga College placed second and third at the challenge and received $100 and $75, respectively. ASME, Stratasys/GrabCAD and Siemens have partnered to create a 3D challenge for each E-Fest with the aim of providing a solution to a problem that is unique to each E-Fest region.

For more information on the ASME E-Fest program, visit